Monday, January 11, 2016

To Go Global, Cook Local

Jollibee in mid-afternoon had more traffic than others.
Jollibee, the Philippine fast-food chain, has had a spotty reception in the U.S. It closed its outlet in downtown San Francisco but thrives wherever there are concentrations of Filipino-Americans or Philippine expats hankering for a taste of home.

I found the Jollibee at the Tanforan Food Court to have a menu (spaghetti, fried chicken, and hamburgers) that's okay but a bit heavy for my taste. Apparently, I'm not alone.

In order to expand internationally
the company has gradually come round to the view that to reach its goal, it needs to buy foreign restaurant chains with menus better suited to the tastes of non-Filipinos.
Jollibee has bought a minority interest in Smashburger, the privately held U.S. chain that, IMHO, makes a flavorful seared burger that's better (and twice as expensive) as In-n-Out.

I can't see an integration of the menus: Jollibee's fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and gravy would not seem to appeal to the same clientele as Smashburger's truffle mushroom burger. Let's hope that this union doesn't result in the ruination of either or both.

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